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Tuolumne River crossing at Pate Valley- current conditions?

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Tuolumne River crossing at Pate Valley- current conditions?

Postby OAC- Richard » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:30 pm

Hey all,

I'm starting a GCT backpacking trip this Thursday, July 25, from White Wolf. I'm trying to find a recent report of the river crossing at Pate Valley. The rangers in the wilderness office are only saying that the bridge is out, but some people have crossed the river.

I'd love to get a first hand report of what crossing the river is like right now.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Tuolumne River crossing at Pate Valley- current conditio

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:36 pm

There's no bridge, you'd have to swim.

They have actually started to repair it, but some of the materials were damaged in transport (a very large helicopter had to be brought in to take the stuff down there) so there is yet another delay. The runoff continues, and while it's likely not as high as it was a few weeks ago, it'll be more than the late summer flow will be.

"Some people" may have successfully crossed the river, but many different levels of experience and recklessness exist in the general population. The gamble is yours to make, or not, and like the rangers I wouldn't pretend to know who will succeed. I just know where I won't be going any time soon. I've heard a number of people have turned around long before Pate -- there are creek crossings before you get to the bottom.
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Re: Tuolumne River crossing at Pate Valley- current conditio

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:00 am

If you only get to Pate and don't want to or aren't able to make the crossing, then have to turn around, you've not only defeated the entire purpose of doing the GCT from White Wolf end by going down the big hill, for a night, it's not worth it, and your life will suck because you'll have to reclimb what you just descended. There's not more to it than that. If the commitment and effort of being down there already somehow forces you to make that crossing despite your better judgment, that's a bad reason. It's how a lot of people like some of the PCTers that feel that the show must go on, no matter the cost, end up getting into trouble and even dying.

You might be better off just using your WW entry to go on up and see how things are up at Ten Lakes. It's nicer by far anyhow.
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Re: Tuolumne River crossing at Pate Valley- current conditio

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:14 am

In fact - you are 90% less likely to die of heat stroke on trails that are not the GCT heading down from WW to Pate.... That is in fact one of the few trails where I ran out of water, after foolishly starting up it in the afternoon, and lay red faced and panting while my friend went for water... longest unknown amount of time spent being miserable in my life. Open granite can be punishing in the full afternoon sun at 6k.

I'm going to 10,000 feet for the rest of the summer, kthxbye.
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